Sometimes it’s best to follow that initial instinct. A few years ago, Jessica Maros and Tyler James met at the latter’s home studio in Nashville. While recording their mutual friend, Maros quietly strummed some of her own songs in the corner and James’ ears perked up. Almost immediately, he knew there was some magic there, and quite bluntly he asked Maros if she wanted to record with him. The pair formed a natural partnership, and over the next few months, Maros and James got to know each other while bringing the songs to life. They both realized they had a love of classic pop songwriting, as well as the cinematic soundscapes of composer Ennio Morricone. After these two influences seeped into the music, the pair picked an appropriately dusty band name–Escondido–and cranked out their debut album in a single day of recording.
However, this isn’t their first rodeo. Maros is a successful clothing and jewelry designer who can count Prince and Lady Antebellum as clients. James, on the other hand, is something of a musical veteran, working as an in-demand producer in Nashville and as a touring musician with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Escondido is a new adventure for both, but the two sound fully-formed and ready to go.
And others are latching on as well. Filmmaker David Lynch counts himself a fan, which makes sense given Escondido’s dark Americana could score a Lynchian scene. The group made their national-TV debut recently on Conan, and their debut, The Ghost of Escondido, is already a hit on public radio stations across the country. There’s a reason for that: A song like “Bad Without You” sounds like it was created by seasoned pros, perhaps Fleetwood Mac on a Johnny Cash bender. It’s certainly proof positive that when it comes to music, Escondido have great instincts.